- PhD, Cognitive Psychology, Temple University
- MEd, Speech and Language Pathology, Northeastern University
- BA, Hofstra University
Dr. Martin's research focuses on the relationship between word processing and short-term memory and the implications for rehabilitation of word retrieval disorders. Within these domains, she conducts both theoretical and treatment-oriented investigations. A primary theoretical interest concerns the architecture of lexical retrieval processes and their relation to verbal STM processes. Through the study of speech errors of normal and aphasic populations, she has sought empirical evidence and corroborating data from computational modeling studies to support a model of lexical retrieval that assumes interaction of semantic and phonological processes over the time course of lexical retrieval (e.g., Dell, 1986).
Additionally, her studies investigating the relationship between word processing and short-term memory deficits in individuals with neurologically-based language impairment indicate a common mechanism underlying these deficits: the ability to maintain activation of semantic and phonological aspects of words. Depending on the severity of this activation maintenance deficit, it will result in a verbal short-term memory and aphasia (more severe cases) or verbal short-term memory without aphasia. This work, carried out in collaboration with the late Eleanor Saffran and Gary Dell (University of Illinois), has led to several new lines of research including the development of a computationally-instantiated cognitive model of word processing and short-term memory and studies of the effects of language impairment on learning (collaborators: Prahlad Gupta (University of Iowa), Gary Dell (University of Illinois) and Myrna Schwartz (Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute). In addition, Dr. Martin is collaborating with Jamie Reilly (University of Florida) on an extension of the short-term memory studies described above to individuals with progressive aphasia and dementia.
Her clinical research includes several studies that apply our theoretical work to the development of treatment protocols for aphasia. In collaboration with Matti Laine and Kati Renvall (.bo Akademi University, Finland) and Ruth Fink (Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute), she is investigating the effects of massed priming in combination with semantic and phonological context to improve word retrieval in anomia. A critical finding from this research is that immediate interfering effects on naming attributed to massed priming of words lead to a short-term facilitation of word retrieval. In collaboration with research associates at Temple, Francine Kohen and Michelene Kalinyak-Fliszar, Jamie Reilly (University of Florida, Steve Majerus (University of Liege, Belgium) and Monica Koenig-Bruhin (Spitalzentrum Biel, Switzerland, she is testing a treatment program that targets the short-term memory impairment in aphasia directly, with the intent that this treatment will benefit both short-term memory and language function. Additionally, they have developed a diagnostic battery of language and short-term memory measures that will further define the relationship between these two abilities.